CANUCKS (10-9-0) at RED WINGS (8-5-3)
-- Canucks 6-4-0; Red Wings 5-2-3
-- It's the second meeting between the teams. They played one of the season's best games in Vancouver on Oct. 27, with the Red Wings overcoming an early 2-0 deficit for a 5-4 victory.
-- The Wings are coming off their best performance of the season, a 9-1 victory at Columbus on Wednesday night in which they looked like the team that has been the best in the West for the past two seasons. That came on the heels of their worst game, a 5-1 loss at Toronto on Sunday.
The Canucks are coming off a horrible effort in St. Louis -- they were blitzed for four first-period goals on the way to a 6-1 loss. Vancouver has lost its last two games after starting a five-game trip with a 5-2 victory at Minnesota. The good news is that starting goaltender Roberto Luongo
should be ready to go after missing two weeks with a broken rib.
-- If there's anything positive about the loss to the Blues, it was the chance to ease Luongo back into the net. He hadn't played since the loss to the Red Wings. Luongo faced 17 shots and allowed two goals while playing the final 40 minutes in relief of Andrew Raycroft.
"That's the only positive thing," Luongo said after the loss. "I got some minutes, but it's tough. You don't want to come in situations like that."
-- Talk about going from one extreme to the other. The Wings went from being dreadful in their 5-1 loss at Toronto to fabulous in their demolition of the Blue Jackets. Detroit led 4-0 before the game was 12 minutes old and kept adding to its lead. Seven players scored goals and 14 of the 18 skaters had at least one point.
"I obviously wasn't very happy with our last game and I let the guys know that," Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the win. "We played with good structure tonight. We got a lot of pucks to the net which is important and things turned out well for us tonight."
-- Vancouver's Mason Raymond
has 4 goals and 6 points in his last six games. Henrik Sedin
, usually more of a passer than a shooter, has scored three times in his last four games. … Niklas Kronwall
led the rout of the Blue Jackets with 2 goals and an assist, and rookie Justin Abdelkader
-- The Canucks expect to have Luongo back in the lineup, but they are still without several other regulars, most notably Daniel Sedin
, who's still sidelined with a broken foot. They had hoped he might be ready to go.
The Wings are still without forwards Valtteri Filppula
, Jason Williams and Johan Franzen
for several more weeks; they claimed Drew Miller
off waivers from Tampa Bay on Wednesday to help fill in.
-- Luongo has a 6-9-2 career record against Detroit and has never had a shutout against the Wings. … Detroit has always been a tough place for the Canucks. They are 18-45-8-3 lifetime in Detroit and haven't won in regulation at Joe Louis Arena since Oct. 5, 2006.
-- The Wings are hoping the euphoria of their blowout win at Columbus carries over into this one. Both teams are thin due to injuries, but getting Luongo back -- and having a night off between games -- should give the Canucks a boost.